Dutch Songs for Children – Dutch Culture for kids

1. Altijd is Kortjakje ziek

Is Kortjakje goed gezond
 Altijd is Kortjakje ziek

Midden in de week maar ‘s-zondags niet

’s-Zondags gaat zij naar de kerk

Met een boek vol zilverwerk

Altijd is Kortjakje ziek

Midden in de week maar ‘s-zondags niet

Altijd is Kortjakje ziek

Midden in de week maar ‘s-zondags niet

Midden in de week wil zij niet wassen

’s-Zondags strikt ze herendassen

Altijd is Kortjakje ziek

Midden in de week maar ‘s-zondags niet

Altijd is Kortjakje ziek

Midden in de week maar ‘s zondags niet

‘s-Zondags als haar liefste komt

Altijd is Kortjakje ziek

Midden in de week maar ‘s-zondags niet

2. Slaap kindje slaap

Slaap, kindje, slaap

daar buiten loopt een schaap.

Een schaap met witte voetjes

dat drinkt zijn melk zo zoetjes.

Slaap, kindje, slaap

daar buiten loopt een schaap.

3. Zakdoekje leggen

Zakdoekje leggen

Niemand zeggen

Kukeleku zo kraait de haan

twee paar schoenen heb ik aan

Een van stof en een van leer

Hier leg ik mijn zakdoekje neer

Zakdoekje leggen

Niemand zeggen

Ik heb de hele nacht gewaakt

Twee paar schoenen heb ik afgemaakt

Een van stof en een van leer

Hier leg ik mijn zakdoekje neer

4. Zeg ken jij de mosselman

Zeg ken jij de mosselman,

de mosselman,

de mosselman

Zeg ken jij de mosselman,

die woont in Scheveningen

Ja ik ken de mosselman,

de mosselman,

de mosselman

Ja ik ken de mosselman,

die woont in Scheveningen

Samen kennen we de mosselman,

de mosselman,

de mosselman

Samen kennen we de mosselman,

die woont in Scheveningen

5. Hoedje van papier

Eén twee drie vier, hoedje van hoedje van.

Eén twee drie vier, hoedje van papier.

Als ‘t hoedje dan niet past,

Zet ‘t in de glazen kast.

Eén twee drie vier, hoedje van papier.

6. Ik zag twee beren

Ik zag twee beren

Broodjes smeren.

Oh, het was een wonder

Het was een wonder, boven wonder

Dat die beren smeren konden

Hi hi hi, ha ha

Ik stond er bij en ik keek er naar

7. Alle eendjes zwemmen in het water

Alle eendjes zwemmen in het water



Alle eendjes zwemmen in het water

Fal, fal, falderalderalderaldera

8. Berend Botje

Berend Botje ging uit varen

Met zijn scheepje naar Zuid-Laren

De weg was recht, de weg was krom

Nooit kwam Berend Botje weerom

Eén twee drie vier vijf zes zeven

Waar is Berend Botje gebleven

Hij is niet hier, hij is niet daar

Hij is naar Amerika

Amerika, Amerika

Drie maal in de rondte van je hopsa-sa

Amerika, Amerika

Drie maal in de rondte van je hopsa-sa

9. Zie ginds komt de stoomboot

Zie ginds komt de stoomboot

uit Spanje weer aan.

Hij brengt ons Sint Nicolaas

zie hem al staan.

Hoe huppelt zijn paardje

het dek op en neer,

hoe waaien de wimpels

al heen en al weer.

Zijn knecht staat te lachen

en roept ons reeds toe:

Wie zoet is krijgt lekkers;

wie stout is de roe!

Oh, lieve Sint Nicolaas

kom ook eens bij mij

en rijd toch niet stilletjes

ons huisje voorbij!

10. Schipper mag ik overvaren

Schipper, mag ik overvaren.

Ja of nee?

Moet ik dan een cent betalen

Ja of nee?

Dutch Traditional Music and Musical Instruments – Dutch Culture for kids

There is a long history of church organs and the mechanical street organ called the draaiorgel. The draairogel is a musical instrument that is played by moving musical patterns.  There is a turning pinned barrel or disc, or a cardboard or paper strip with holes in it.

The accordion, violin, recorder and harmonica also are used to play traditional folk music.

Traditional Dutch music is known as “Levenslied” meaning life song or song about life. These types of songs have catchy, simple rhythms and melodies.  They are sung with couplets (2 lines that rhyme) and a refrain (repeating a section over). The themes of the songs are often sentimental. They include love and happiness, death and loneliness.

Traditional Dutch musical instruments such as the accordion and the barrel organ are used in levenslied. However, recently many of these musicians also use synthesizers and guitars.

A barrel organ (or roller organ) is a mechanical musical instrument consisting of bellows and one or more ranks of pipes.  The pipes are in a decorated, wooden case. The basic principle is the same as a traditional pipe organ. Rather than being played by an organist, the barrel organ’s music is made from a person turning a crank.  It can also be made by clockwork moved by weights or springs. The pieces of music are encoded onto the wooden barrels or cylinders. This is similar to the keyboard of the traditional pipe organ.

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Dutch street organs unlike the simple street organ are large organs that play book music. They have many rows of pipes and also percussion.  At first, the organ grinder turned a large handle to make the music.  Today, most of the organ grinders have been changed to a small battery operated motor.  This leaves the street performer free to collect money from anyone passing by as the music is played on the street corners.

About Dutch History – Dutch Culture for kids

The people who live in the Netherlands are called Dutch.  German tribes first lived on the land that is called the Netherlands.  Then Rome took part of the land away.  Parts of the Netherlands were later taken over by many other countries until the Dutch people decided they did not want to be ruled by anyone else.

The Dutch people wanted to be free and rule themselves.  So, in 1579, the Republic of the United Netherlands was formed.

In the 17th century, the Netherlands had a strong navy.  With this navy, they were able to expand their empire to other areas of the world.  They gained colonies on many of the other continents.

Eventually, the Netherlands was weakened by wars with other European countries.  There were wars against Spain, France and England.  Each time there was a war, the Netherlands lost some of their colonies.

The Netherlands fought in WWII against the Germans.  Anne Frank is a famous Jewish girl who wrote her diary of hiding from the Nazis during the war. She hid upstairs above a store with her family. After WWII, most of Netherland’s colonies were given freedom.

Today, the Netherlands is a monarchy.  The Queen performs many ceremonial duties. There is a premier and a cabinet.  Laws are passed by a parliament like in many other countries.  Many of the laws are based on how Germany rules their country. Many of these laws are written based on early Roman law.

Even though the country of the Netherlands is small, the provinces are very different.  These provinces are divided into four regions:

  • Western Netherlands commonly called Randstad has the four biggest cities and the typical Dutch countryside.
  • Northern Netherlands is popular among the locals.  This has the smallest populated areas of all of the country. There are islands and lakes in this region.
  • Eastern Netherlands is home to the largest national park of the country.  There are many medieval cities along the rivers in this province.
  • Southern Netherlands is divided by the rest of the country with its Catholic history, carnival celebrations and beer culture.
  • In addition, the Kingdom of the Netherlands owns some Caribbean Islands. Some of these islands are considered municipalities (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba).   Other islands are considered countries (Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Dutch Words and Phrases – Dutch Culture for kids

hat Do the Dutch Speak?

Dutch is a West Germanic language.  It is the language that 90% of the Dutch people speak in the Netherlands.  Many people in Belgium (a neighboring country in Europe) and Suriname (a country in South America) also speak Dutch. The Dutch language in Belgium is called Flemish.  Dutch is closely related to the German and English languages.  There are about twenty-five dialects of Dutch used in the Netherlands today. The second official language in the Netherlands is Friesian.  Over 500,000 people speak this language.

Common Words and Phrases

Here are some common words and phrases.  You can see that they are written in English and in Dutch.  There is also the pronunciation so you can practice speaking in Dutch.

  • Hello. Hallo. (HAH-low)
  • How are you? Hoe gaat het? (Hoo GAHT hut?)
  • Fine, thank you. Goed, dank u. (GOOT, dahnk uu.)
  • What is your name? Hoe heet u? (Hoo HAYT uu?)
  • My name is ______. Mijn naam is ______.  (Meyn NAHM is _____.)
  • Nice to meet you. Aangename kennismaking. (AHN-guh-NAH-muh KAN-nis-MAHK-ing.)
  • Please. Alstublieft. (AHL-stuu-BLEEFT.)
  • Thank you. Dank u. (DAHNK uu.)
  • You’re welcome. Graag gedaan. (GRAHG guh-DAHN.)
  • Yes. Ja. (YAH.)
  • No. Nee. (NAY.)
  • Excuse me. Mag ik even uw aandacht. (Mahg ick AYvuhn uuw ahnDAGHT.)
  • I’m sorry. Sorry. (SOHR-ree.)
  • Goodbye Tot ziens. (TOT seens.)
  • I can’t speak Dutch. Ik spreek geen Nederlands. (Ick SPRAYK gayn NAY-dur-lawnts.)
  • Do you speak English? Spreekt u Engels? (SPRAYKT uu ENG-uls?)
  • Help! Help! (HEHLP!)
  • Good morning. Goedemorgen. (GOO-duh-MORE-gun.)
  • Good afternoon. Goedemiddag (GOO-duh-MID-dahg.)
  • Good evening. Goedenavond. (Goo-duhn-AH-vunt.)
  • Good night. Goedenavond. (Goo-duhn-AH-vunt.)
  • Good night (to sleep) Slaap lekker. (SLAHP leck-uh.r)
  • I don’t understand. Ik begrijp het niet. (Ick buh-GRAYP hut neet.) 

Dutch Names

The Ten Most Popular Girls’ Names

  1. Emma
  2. Julia
  3. Sophie
  4. Lotte
  5. Isa
  6. Lisa
  7. Saar
  8. Lieke
  9. Eva
  10. Anna

The Ten Most Popular Boys’ Names

  1. Daan
  2. Shem
  3. Milan
  4. Levi
  5. Luuk
  6. Luca
  7. Jayden
  8. Thomas
  9. Stijn
  10. Jesse

Common Dutch Last Names (vd stands for van der, a common beginning of a last name)

  1. Bakker – Baker
  2. Bijl, vd – From the axe, i.e. descended from woodcutters
  3. Bos – Forest
  4. Berg, vd – From the hill
  5. Boer, de – Farmer
  6. Boor, vd – Farmer or simple person
  7. Brouwer – Brewer
  8. Buskirk, van – Literally “bush church”, or “church in the woods”
  9. Citroen – Lemon
  10. Dijkstra – From the dike
  11. Graaf, de – The count/earl
  12. Byl, vd – Americaization of “Van der Bill”
  13. Coevorden, van
  14. Dekker – Thatcher
  15. Dijk, Dyk, Dyck, Deijck, van – From the dike
  16. Fikse
  17. Fixe
  18. Groot, de – The big/great
  19. Haan, de – Rooster
  20. Hendriks – Henry’s son
  21. Hoff, van het – From the servant/garden
  22. Leeuwen, van – From Leeuwen/Leuven; Levi
  23. Janssen – John’s son
  24. Jong, de – Junior
  25. Jansen – John’s son
  26. Koning, Koningh, de – King
  27. Linden, vd – From the tree
  28. Meijer, Meyer – Bailiff or steward
  29. Meer, vd – From the lake
  30. Mesman – Knife
  31. Mulder, Molenaar – Miller
  32. Maarschalkerweerd – Keeper of marshlands
  33. Peters – Peter’s son
  34. Prins – Prince
  35. Rynsburger
  36. Smit, Smits – Smith
  37. Spaans – Spanish
  38. Spronk
  39. Visser – Fisher
  40. Vliet, van – From the water
  41. Vries, de – The Frisian
  42. Vos – Fox
  43. Westhuizen, van der
  44. Wit, de – White or blond

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Dutch Etiquette – Dutch Culture for kids

Meeting and Greeting

The handshake is a common greeting.  The Dutch smile and say the person’s name whom they are greeting while shaking hands.  If you are seated, it is polite to stand up to shake hands. If you are a good friend, you may greet each other by air kissing near the cheek three times, first on the left side, then the right, and the left side. When you leave, it is important to shake hands again.

Most Dutch only use first names with family and good friends.  Otherwise, they use the first and last name.

When you come into the waiting room at a public place like the doctor or dentist’s office, you greet everyone there by looking at the people and saying one greeting of “hello”.

Gift Giving Manners

If you are invited to dinner or to a party, it is common to bring a small wrapped gift to the host/hostess.  This might be a box of chocolates, a plant, flowers or a book.  If you give flowers, it is common to give an odd number.  Do not give 13 flowers as this is seen as unlucky.

Dining Manners

Dining is formal.  You should not sit down until you are told to.  Men wait until women all sit down first. No one eats until the host/hostess begins.  Dutch people use silverware for most foods including sandwiches. Salad is not cut.  It is folded on your fork.  The host gives the first toast.  If you are a guest, you can return the toast later in the meal.

You should take small portions and try to finish everything on your plate.  Dutch people don’t like to waste food.  When you are finished eating, put your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate.  If you are still eating, you can cross your knife and fork in the middle of the plate with the fork over the knife if you want to talk, rest from eating, or want a second helping.


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If you are eating at someone’s house, it is polite to offer to help with the dishes or to clean the table.  Being on time is very important to Dutch people. If you are invited to dinner, plan to be on time.  In the Netherlands, you should visit people after you have called them and planned a visit.  It is not polite just to drop by.

About Dutch Culture – Dutch Culture for kids

About Dutch Culture

Dutch culture (of the Netherlands) is very diverse.  There are cultural differences within the Netherlands because of the four regions that make up this country. The regions are divided into counties, provinces and cities.  Foreigners who have come to live and work in this country have helped to broaden the Dutch culture, also.


The Role of the Family

Family is very important.  Families who have children usually choose to have one or two.

Most of these families have two parents working outside of the home.

Other Values

Children go to daycare during the day. Primary school for all children begins at age four in the Netherlands.  

  • Cleanliness and neatness are important.
  • Saving money, being organized and working hard are also valued.
  • They are very punctual people.  Being even five minutes late is not acceptable.
  • Dutch people like their privacy.
  • They do not boast of success or material wealth.
  • Dutch people are accepting of others.
  • They like to hear other people’s opinions and treat others with respect.
  • A good education and successful performance at school are important.  Many children go on to further education after high school.



What Images Do You Think Of?

The Netherlands and Dutch people bring to mind such things as wooden shoes, windmills and dikes.  We may think of the traditional clothing or folk tales about Hans Brinker and his silver skates.  Other pictures that remind you of the Netherlands might be fields of colorful tulips in spring time.  You might have heard about Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who kept a diary during WW II.  This diary was later published and is known throughout the world.    

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Dutch Culture for children – Fun Facts, Food, music, language and more..

Dutch Fun Facts – Holland/Netherlands

DINOLINGO The Dutch national soccer has played three finals in the world cup soccer; in 1974 (against Germany), 1978 (against Argentina) and 2010 (againstSpain), but unfortunately never won the cup. It is found to be quite remarkable that such a small nation plays a rather large role on the international soccer stage. Soccer is national number one sport: cycling number two and speed skating number three.

Amsterdam is the capitol of The Netherlands. This city is known for is tolerant ambiance. There is a historic reason for this rather loose and tolerant attitude; During the seventeen hundreds, Amsterdam was a safe haven for many refugees and other thinkers, fleeing dictator regimes throughout Europe. When these people all came together in Amsterdam, they discovered that the town accepted other perspectives. As long as you paid your tax on time, you where welcome in Amsterdam.

Dutch Verbal Communication & Dialects – Holland/Netherlands

DINOLINGO As in most European countries, in Holland it is expected to use the formal form “U” or “Uw”. You continue to use this formal address until the other person informs you that it’s okay to use the informal form “je/jij”. It is very common to address older people with the formal form and they might even continue to address you in this form because in the old days the formal address was much more commonly used.

Although the Netherlands is a relativelty small country, it has over thirty different regional dialects. The part of The Netherlands below the major rivers Rijn, Waal and Maas is historically Catholic and orientated more toward Belgium and France. Here dialects such as “Brabants”, “Limburg” and “Zeeuws” is spoken.

The part above the main rivers is more traditionally Protestant and orientated toward Scandinavia. Here dialects such as “Gronings”, “Drents” and “Achterhoeks” are spoken. “Fries” is actually an official language spoken in Friesland, a northern territory in Holland.

Dutch Children’s Games – Holland/Netherlands

DINOLINGO “Sjoelbakken”: This is a very popular Dutch shuffleboard game. Sjoelbak is loved by kids, but adults can also play it. All you need is a 6 ½-foot wooden shuffleboard table and wooden disks. Every player has three chances to get four wooden disks to pass four marked arches that are numbered from 1 to 4. The player with the highest number of points wins the game.

“Kinkkeren”: Round shiny marbles have captured the imaginations of Dutchchildren for centuries. This game of shooting marbles dates back to the Romans and is still extremely popular in the Netherlands. Dutch children have even gone as far as giving specific marbles special names. For example, a large marble is called a “giant giant bonk.” There are many varieties of marble games, however they all require players to use their marbles to “shoot” competitors’ marbles out of a large circular arena marked on the ground. The last player with untouched marbles wins the game.

Dutch Stories – Holland/Netherlands

DINOLINGO One popular Dutch story is that of Hans Brinker. Hans Brinker was a little Dutch boy that saved The Netherlands. On a lovely autumn day he was out for a stroll with his friend Liesa. They where picking flowers, then sat in the grass to eat some chocolate. It was a beautiful early fall day until the weather suddenly turned. A gigantic storm rolled in and the wind got out of control. The waves in the sea swelled and before Hans and Liesa realized it, they were pounding on the dykes. One dyke almost collapsed, but Hans quickly put his finger on the point where the dyke was about to break. In the mean time, Liesa ran to the village calling for help. Swiftly, a group of strong construction workers showed up to repair the damaged dyke. Little Hans Brinker was reconized as a hero.

Dutch Festivals and Traditions – Holland/ Netherlands

DINOLINGO ‘Sinterklaas’ is one of the main traditional holidays. Sinterklaas is a bishop, originally from Spain. Together with his friendly helper ‘colorful Peter’ he travels to The Netherlands to deliver presents to children. He does so by climbing the roofs of the houses on his strong, white horse named “schimmel”. While on the roof, colorful Peter will climb through the chimney and put presents in the kids shoes, which have been placed beside the fire place.

Another important Dutch holiday is “Koninginnedag” (or Queens day), celebrated on April 30th. People celebrate the Queens birthday by dancing, singing, eating, and drinking in the streets. Traditionally, this is also a great opportunity to sell off old, unused items that have been sitting in basements. Many city centers become enormous ‘garage sales’.

Christmas and Easter are also celebrated in Holland. There is one exception; There is a 1st and 2nd Christmas/Easter day in Holland. During Christmas, family comes together to celebrate and eat goodies. Presents are not given during Christmas as they are reserved more for Sinterklaas.

Traditional Dutch Clothing – Holland / Netherlands

DINOLINGO  Wooden shoes are the typical traditional shoe ware. They are remarkably light, comfortable, and actually very good for your feet. They are very handy and safe on a Dutch dairy farm just in case a cow might step on the farmers foot. Wearing wooden clogs protects the farmer’s toes.

In addition to being a semi-safety shoe, wooden shoes are warm. During the winter months people who where them place straw in the shoe as insulation, thus making them very warm. When the wooden shoes get worn out, they are often nailed against a barn or other building wall and used as a place to plant flowers or greenery.

Click here for Dutch traditional clothing

Click here to see Holland national flag

Dutch food – Holland / Netherlands

DINOLINGO  The number one fast food in the Netherlands is fresh cut Frenchfries served with a variety of sauces. In addition, local favorites include eel- and raw herring sandwiches, hardy deep brown bread rolls with Gouda cheese, and rich potato dishes like ‘hutspot’ and ‘boerenkool’. Hutspot is made from boiled potatoes, carrot and onions. After it is boiled, it needs to be mashed with lots of butter and a variety of cheeses. This is all served with traditional sausage and a yummy creamy mushroom gravy.
You will also find a big variety of delectable sweets like chocolate, spiced biscuits, and “stroopwafels”. Stroop wafels consist of two tiny, thinly cut waffles with a thick carmel syrup between that crystallizes the cookie into a chewy morsel. Before eating, you can place the cookie on top of a hot cup of tea or chocolate, in order to soften it a bit.

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Dutch Children are the Happiest on the planet? Dutch Kids facts

Were you happy when you were a kid? Can money buy happiness?? Well, according to a recent study conducted by UNICEF among 21 developed nations, Dutch children are the happiest on the planet. The study compared self reported happiness measures such as family involvement, number of books at home etc. and concluded that Dutch kids have the best subjective well being.
The study measured these major dimensions in Netherlands and compared it to the other 20 developed nations.
-Dutch children’s material well-being
relative income poverty
households without jobs
reported deprivation
Dutch children’s health and safety
health at age 0-1
preventative health services
Dutch children’s educational well being
school achievement at age 15
the transition to employment
-Dutch children’s relationship
– percentage of children living in single-parent families
– percentage of children living in stepfamilies
– percentage of children who report eating the main meal of the day with parents more than once a week
– percentage of children who report that parents spend time ‘just talking’ to them
– percentage of 11, 13 and 15year-olds who report finding their peers ‘kind and helpful’
-Dutch Children’s well-being

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School life
Subjective well being

Most of the Scandinavian countries ranked in the top 10. Here’s the complete list

Dimension 1 Dimension 2 Dimension 3 Dimension 4 Dimension 5 Dimension 6

Netherlands 4.2 10 2 6 3 3 1
Sweden 5.0 1 1 5 15 1 7
Denmark 7.2 4 4 8 9 6 12
Finland 7.5 3 3 4 17 7 11
Spain 8.0 12 6 15 8 5 2
Switzerland 8.3 5 9 14 4 12 6
Norway 8.7 2 8 11 10 13 8
Italy 10.0 14 5 20 1 10 10
Ireland 10.2 19 19 7 7 4 5
Belgium 10.7 7 16 1 5 19 16
Germany 11.2 13 11 10 13 11 9
Canada 11.8 6 13 2 18 17 15
Greece 11.8 15 18 16 11 8 3
Poland 12.3 21 15 3 14 2 19
Czech Republic 12.5 11 10 9 19 9 17
France 13.0 9 7 18 12 14 18
Portugal 13.7 16 14 21 2 15 14
Austria 13.8 8 20 19 16 16 4
Hungary 14.5 20 17 13 6 18 13
United States 18.0 17 21 12 20 20 –
United Kingdom 18.2 18 12 17 21 21 2
Dimension 1:Material well-being
Dimension 2: Health and safety
Dimension 3: Educational well-being
Dimension 4: Family and peer relationships
Dimension 5: Behaviors and risks
Dimension 6: Subjective well-being
SOURCE: 2007 UNICEF REPORT on "An overview of child well-being in rich countries"
UNICEF, Child poverty in perspective:
An overview of child well-being in rich countries,
Innocenti Report Card 7, 2007
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence.

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Famous Dutch Cities – Holland / Netherlands

DINOLINGO Amsterdam is considered the ‘Gateway to Europe’ and has a fantastic arts and graphic design scene. It’s the financial center of the BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg), and has 4th largest tourism economy after London, Paris, and Rome.

The biggest seaport in the world is in Rotterdam. The city was bombed by the Germans during the World War 2. Therefore the skyline of Rotterdam is extremely modern, opposed to other Dutch cities which are filled with century old buildings and picturesque canals. The city is also known for its large collection of fantastic museums, an extraordinary arts scene, and it’s ‘no nonsense attitude’.

Dutch lessons for kids